This is not an official
Response to the supposed "debate" between Simmons and me.
I stopped that. But, I will not stop writing about
what has come about recently. I want to make some
points that should clarify the issues involved even further.
Simmons first claimed that it was the corporate body view
that "necessarily leads" to Universalism. He wrote,
"This debate is to decide whether Max King's "covenant
eschatology," including his "corporate body view" of the
resurrection, necessarily lead to Universalism. By
"necessary" we mean only that Universalism is a logical
of King's views." Now, he wrote to Larry Siegle, "The
corporate aspect of King's system is not the central issue.
It is his spiritualization of the resurrection and his
premise that the law had to be removed for man to be
redeemed that is the source of so much error." This
was written after the first statement was. I
originally set out to show that the corporate view, in and
of itself, does not lead to Universalism. Simmons has
now offended all Reformed Preterists in that he denies that
Adam ever was a Federal Head of the human race, and that
there was no corporate dimension in Paul's argument
in Romans 5. He has brought into the picture
the "age of accountability", "freewill" and other aspects
that would be entirely at odds with Reformed theology.
In Simmons' view, Jesus didn't die for anyone. He
merely makes it possible for anyone to be saved if
and only if they exercise their "freewill." Clearly,
this issue is not about Max King and Kurt Simmons.
The reason why so many Reformed Preterists have borrowed
from King is that a "corporate" theology was already at work
within Reformed theology.
The above statement also reflects another belief of Simmons.
The resurrection is not spiritual. It is when you
physically die. Therefore, no one is entirely "saved"
until then. This has been a long time issue within
Preterist theology. It is something that must be
considered when pondering Simmons' overall
Simmons continues to "dodge" the points raised in my second
article. He stated that "not one" translation agreed
We produced two.
His response is telling:
Your [Jason Bradfield] charges are frivolous and unworthy
the dignity of response. You act as if because one or two
translations can be found out of the thousands and thousand
made over the centuries that Sam's whole position is
wondrously validated. let there be a hundred
translations produced! They would still be a tiny
minority and still have no bearing upon the question at
hand. The issue here is not Sam's idea and the
translation it causes him to produce is valid, but whether
King's covenant eschatology leads to Universalism. The
whole question of translation has nothing to say about the
issue in debate at all."
see. "Not one" and now, "Let there be a hundred."
Simmons' logic here is again deplorable. Anyone ever
hear of arguing from the majority? Remember those
anti-Preterist arguments that said, "over the last two
thousand years no one has ever believed that Jesus returned
in A.D 70?" Remember your response?
Argumentum ad populum!
But, here, Simmons uses this argument. And here I
thought flip flops were shoes we wore in Florida.
Simmons quotes from no Greek source, mind you. I can
quote from every Greek grammar I have on the subject.
This is "Greek according to Simmons" and "Greek according to
known authorities quoted by Frost." That's the
argument. But, aside from this. Let's look at
5 from a purely translational perspective. Verse 15
has "the offence" in the KJV and virtually every other
translation. The Greek has the article, too. In
verse 16 "the judgment" is found. In Greek the article
is found. In fact, to save space, go through your NIV,
ESV, RSV or KJV and find how many times "the" occurs from
5.12-21. Question: "the" occurs before "sin" and
"death", too, so why is the article not translated
in front of those nouns, but is in front of the others?
Even more telling, when Paul wrote, "for if by the
offence of the one man..." Notice that
the article here is clearly, clearly addressing the
single offence committed by the single man, Adam.
That's "the Sin" or "the offence" or "the transgression."
Simmons entirely misses the boat here and cannot bring
himself to admit it. Basically, Simmons argument is based on
English translations that are supposed to tell us the
correct Greek! Since English translations leave out
"the", then "the" is not important in Greek. Talk
about having the rabbit ahead of the carrot!
Simmons' logic has been questioned and here he fudges.
There is a bit of trickery on his part, too. First,
the most amazing thing is that Simmons admits
that his "form" logically speaking is off. But, he
says, his substance is correct! Let me quote
to you a definition of a valid argument: "When an
argument is valid, its premises are said to entail its
conclusions" (Wilfred Hodges, Logic, Penguin, p.
55). Simmons says that I am being "technical" here.
He admits that his "forms" are invalid. But that
is the very definition of a valid argument. If an
argument is invalid, it is not an argument. It is
He tries to salvage this by
Syllogism No. 1
Major Premise: The power of sin and death over mankind
resided in the Mosaic law.
Minor Premise: The Mosaic law was done away for all men for
all time in A.D. 70. Therefore,
Conclusion: All men are freed from the power of sin and
This is not the syllogism of
Simmons I used in my example. I used this one:
Major Premise: The reign of sin and death over man (A) was
determined by the Mosaic law (B)
Minor Premise: The Mosaic law (B) was annulled at the
eschaton, losing all men of its power (A); therefore
Conclusion: Men are universally reconciled (C) to God.
"Universally reconciled to God" is more than just one word!
It is an entire doctrine! A doctrine not contained
in the two premises at all. It is an implication
but not a necessary correlate of the premises.
Simmons can cry about this until he is blue in the face, but
the fact of the matter is that his argument is illogical
by any standard and he admits this but wants to get
away with saying that the substance is true!
Can you imagine any student saying this to his logic
professor? Secondly, he used a different syllogism
in his response other than the one I used! Does
this not tell you that he is not paying attention to the
true issues? He just rams home his points and hopes no
one will "technically" analyze them. It's not so
amazing that people do this, but that people
listen to it and say, "wow! Great argument, man!
It's false and invalid, but entirely right on the money!"
Simmons wrote, "he has faulted my ability to express King's
position in perfect logic as taught at the University
level." And then, "If this [syllogism] is not in
proper "form" it is nonetheless of perfect "substance" and
represents the basis for King's Universalism."
Therefore, Simmons version of "perfect logic" as taught in
the University allows for invalid forms to make valid
arguments! Mr. Simmons, Postmodernism is calling...it
wants its shirt back.
Aside from the Greek errors and the Logic errors, both of
which are devastating, Simmons makes an exegetical blunder
of such ramifications that I do not need to deal with hardly
anything else. It is
the conclusion of what is really and
always the issue for me: the definition of "the Death."
King and myself define "the death" in pretty much the same
terms. One can decide for themselves if that is an
accurate definition. But, I wrote in my second paper
that Simmons must deal with Isaiah 25.8
and I listed 5 Exegetical considerations, none of which he
really dealt with on any level.
However, he does attempt to define "death." This is
where his view necessarily leads.
After one reads this, it should be clear that Simmons'
alternative to my approach is to be utterly abandoned.
First off, if one cannot see the clear allusion to which
every commentary mentions between Revelation 21.4
and Isaiah 25.8, then one is blind. Simmons
never makes the comparison. Both verses,
including the use of the phrase, "the death" (in Hebrew and
Greek), use the exact same words. Therefore, what John
pictured here is what Isaiah saw there. Isaiah
25.8 is fulfilled in Revelation 21.4.
Simmons wrote "Only Hadean death was destroyed in A.D.
70. This is confirmed by the very context of the passage
(Rev. 20:11-15), which shows death and Hades cast into the
lake of fire together. Paul is to the same effect: "The
shall be brought to pass the saving that is written. Death
is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting.
O Hades, where is thy victory?" (I Cor 15:54,
55) It was Hadean death that was destroyed at the
eschaton, and none else. Anything else will produce
This is the
very crux of the issue as he has noted.
He cannot have "the death" mean anything else except the
destruction of Hades. "The Death" is the same thing as
"the Hades." Based upon his own view, then, Isaiah
25.8 is predicting the destruction of Hades.
Let's read Isaiah 25.6-10:
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich
food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. 7 And
he will swallow up on this mountain the covering that is
cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all
nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever, adn the Lord
GOD will wipe away tears from all faces, adn the reproach of
his people he will take away from all the earth, for the
LORD has spoken. 9 It will be said on that day, "Behold, thi
sis our God: we have waited for him, tha the might save us.
This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and
rejoice in his salvation. (ESV)
according to Simmons, this is only swallowing up of Hades.
Judicial death remains and the other three deaths he has
defined (he has five overall). However, one can see
from the context
that this swallowing up of "the death" means "His Salvation"
has arrived. Therefore, "salvation" is the "swallowing
up" of Hades, in Simmons' view! But, everyone
("all peoples") are in Hades (Sheol, Hebrew). And "all
peoples" are set free from Sheol! Therefore, all
peoples are saved because the swallowing up of Hades means
that His Salvation has come! If it does not mean
this, then Simmons himself must conclude that a
universal event does not mean universal salvation!
This is what I have argued!
state this again. All peoples are in Hades.
Hades is swallowed up for "all peoples" so that "all
peoples" are released from Hades. The swallowing up of
Hades is the coming of "His Salvation." Conclusion:
all peoples are saved. But, we know that Simmons would
not conclude this, nor would I. Notice here that
"Hades" is not even mentioned in Isaiah
25.8. Notice that the connection between the
swallowing up of "the death" and the "removal of the
reproach" of Israel is in view here. Notice,
too, that the swallowing up of the death and His Salvation
are simultaneous events.
Simmons has the Parousia
occurring in A.D. 70 when the Death is swallowed up, yet
wants no connection to the annulment of the Law of Moses to
this event, even though this event was future to
the cross. This was "His Salvation" coming into its
fullness for His People. Simmons has
a mess on his hands here. Israel is saved at
the parousia of her Messiah and Bridegroom to be.
The rich banquet is set for all peoples on Mount Zion, the
New Jerusalem. The reproach of the death
is what is removed, and it is this same "the death"
identified in Paul as having come through the "one man" and
the "one transgression." Simmons states that Jesus did
not remove Adam's curse. "No amount of magic can do
this" he wrote. Therefore, in his view, we are all
still under the Reproach, the Sin and the Condemnation while
alive here on earth. However, we have good news: Hades
I am appealing to your senses here. How can Simmons
have Hades removed, but not "the reproach" and "the veil"?
By Hebrew parallelism (see any commentary here, for I am
afraid Simmons will accuse me of not knowing Hebrew,
either), "the covering", "the veil", "the death", and "the
reproach" are all speaking of the same thing. For
Simmons, this is Hades! Let's use some logic here: if
the Hades contained "all men" and the Hades is "the
reproach", then the swallowing up of the Hades means the
swallowing up of "the reproach" for all peoples. And,
since the Hades, in Simmons view (and all Preterists agree
here) is gone for everyone
(since no wicked person goes to Hades when he dies), then
the reproach is removed for all peoples! It's
ironic: Simmons equation of "death" as "hades"
means the removal of the reproach for all peoples since the
Hades exists no more for no man! Result: Simmons'
exegesis leads to Universalism!
not done. Simmons wrote, "When Revelation says there
will be no more death, this should not
be taken in an absolute sense. This is clear from the
fact that it also says there will be no more sorrow, crying,
or pain. Since these are still a very real and
permanent part of human existence this side of eternity, it
seems clear that the statement is intended to be understood
in a relative sense. " In Simmons' exegesis
Revelation 21.4 is not in reference to
Isaiah 25.8! Folks, SEE THE CONFUSION HERE!
Revelation 21.4 cannot, for Simmons, be Isaiah
25.8, because in the above quote, Simmons quotes I Co
15.54 WHICH QUOTES ISAIAH 25.8!!!!! But, THERE, he
says Paul is talking about the removal of HADEAN DEATH.
But, in Revelation 21.4 WHICH IS A DIRECT ALLUSION
TO ISAIAH 25.8, Simmons FLIP FLOPS AGAIN saying that "the
death" that is no more is NOT HADEAN DEATH!!!!!
However, as the context shows, "the death" that is thrown
into the Lake of Fire is the same "the death" that is no
more AS A RESULT OF BEING CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE!!!!
How boneheaded does one have to be not to see the OBVIOUS
run around we get here when we press the details of Simmons'
exegesis! What Simmons must do is this: Revelation
20.11-15 speaks of "the death" (Greek) as being thrown into
the Lake of Fire. For Simmons, this is ONLY hadean
death. Just four verses down, "the death" (Greek) is
said to be "no more." But, THIS IS NOT THE SAME "THE
DEATH" MENTIONED JUST OVER 30 WORDS BEFORE IN THE CONTEXT
for Simmons!!!! This is a different "the death" than
"the death" thrown into the Lake of Fire!!!! Someone
help me...I am going mad!!!! (lol).
It should be quite apparent now that Simmons' alternative
leads to Universalism if in fact "the death" is defined as
merely "hades." We have PROVEN that this is not the
correct definiton, and Simmons has a hard mountain to climb
to prove otherwise. Our exegesis, following many, many
commentaries and Greek and Hebrew grammars as described in
the Grammars, is sound. I am appealing to every reader
to honestly look at what Simmons is doing in order to "make
his point." I do not dislike Mr. Simmons. He's a
brother. I abhor his methodology and exegesis.
It's poor. It clearly runs into massive problems.
This last example should show to any objective reader that
Simmons has a serious, serious exegetical problems. If
a view cannot undergo rigorous exegetical scrutiny, then it
cannot pass the test as being "the best in Preterism."